Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Nadim Naaman. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Nadim Naaman. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, 3 August 2018

Broken Wings, Theatre Royal Haymarket | Review


Broken Wings
Theatre Royal Haymarket
Reviewed on Thursday 2nd August 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★

Broken Wings, the new musical based on Kahlil Gibran's bestselling poetic novel has taken over the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a limited run. It provides a swooping romance, combines Middle Eastern melodies with musical theatre influences and showcases some of the finest voices in the West End.

After a stunning orchestral prologue, the audience are thrown into the life of writer, Kahlil Gibran and his fated romance with kind hearted and beautiful Selma Karamy. The story is touching, if  fairly cliched. We know from the start that the couple aren't going to have a happy ending but we still feel the emotion as they are consistently dragged apart from one another as Selma, a woman with very few rights, is destined to marry the bishop's nephew.

Personally, Joe Davison's orchestration is the star of the show. The beautifully flowing, virtuosic music evokes feelings of hot summer nights and all-encompassing romance and brings the emotion to life. 



Unfortunately, I didn't feel that the lyrics had the same effect; over-dramatic phrases and simile's used on mass feel cheesy and somewhat simplistic. Instead of highlighting something which may not have been clear to the audience, they simply highlight the clear thoughts and emotions so didn't add to the intensity of the story. Of course, they are based on the original poetry the transition has not been fully successful. 

The cast performing the songs however are outstanding both acting wise and vocally. As our narrator and older Khalil, Nadim Naaman is suitably brooding, whilst his younger counterpart, Rob Houchen shows a stunning transition from childish glee and positivity to a heartbroken man. Nikita Johal is vulnerable but strong as Selma and provides some moments of vocal brilliance, especially in act 2. Another stand out is Soophia Foroughi as Mother; Soophia brings a rich, emotion filled vocal to the show and leads the rousing closing number with skill and power. Nadeem Crowe also gives a humourous and memorable performance as Khalil's best friend, Karim Bawwab.

There's definitely an audience for Broken Wings and I certainly believe that after some lyrical changes it could have a much longer life in the West End. For stellar performances and outstanding orchestrations, get yourself along to the Theatre Royal Haymarket... if you can get a ticket!

photo credit: Marc Brenner

Sunday, 26 August 2018

On The Town (Prom 57), Royal Albert Hall | Review


Prom 57: On The Town (BBC Proms)
Royal Albert Hall 
Reviewed on Saturday 25th August 2018 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

What better way to celebrate what would have been Bernstein's 100th birthday, than at the Royal Albert Hall with a glorious performance of On The Town?! Written in 1944 with Adolph Green, Jerome Robbins and Betty Comden, this show is a light-hearted look at love which takes place over 24 hours in New York and is accompanied by beautifully woven music.

The plot follows three sailors who are in the Big Apple for one day only. Their time soon becomes commanded by some humourous, strong, powerful women who provide a larger than life experience. Each character is memorable and brilliantly performed by the stellar cast which celebrates some of the best the West End theatre scene has to offer. 

Each cast member came at their roles with vigour and embraced both the humour and more nuanced moments, fantastically. Whilst the humour is repetitive at times, it was very well pulled off, with well timed motifs remaining humourous instead of grating, especially the entrances of Pitkin (Barnaby Rea) whilst his fiancé Claire (Celinde Schoenmaker) and Ozzie (Nadim Naaman) were getting closer and closer.


Nathaniel Hackmann's smooth vocals were especially striking as the lovestruck Gabey, whilst Siena Kelly was perfectly flirty and humourous as Miss Turnstiles, Ivy Smith. Claire Moore was equally witty as drunken singing teacher, Madame Dilly, and earned several laughs from the audience.

Whilst the entire leading cast were extremely strong, it was Come Up To My Place, a back-and-forth duet by Hildy (Louise Dearman) and Chip (Fra Fee) which provided the most memorable scene of the night.

This very simplistic concert, whilst beautifully staged by Martin Duncan, with basic projections and innovative prop usage, really just highlighted how stunning the score of On The Town is. The music has wit and sharpness embedded in it which brings the story to life without a need for dramatic sets and scene changes.


John Wilson brought the vivid score to life, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra with energy and bringing out flawless sounds. The varied musical sections showcased the adaptability and versatility of the orchestra and really evoked feelings of the golden age.

The full-house of the Royal Albert Hall were treated to a truly spectacular performance which you would be a fool to miss on BBC catch up! Full of joy and life, watching On The Town was a joyous experience.

photo credit: Mark Allan